How A Healthy Gut Can Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation can be a good thing when it helps the body fight off oncoming threats, but in the same way that stress is good for us in times of survival, we don’t need it all the time. Chronic inflammation can lead to premature aging, a foggy brain, gut issues, and so much more. To simplify, we just don’t want too much of it in our bodies as it becomes a catalyst for all sorts of problems.
Where Does Inflammation Come From?
When it comes to health, you can almost expect sugar to be a culprit for most things. Excess sugar is a huge reason for inflammation in the body. Aim for 25 grams of sugar or less each day to keep chronic inflammation away.
Another reason for inflammation is the standard American diet that is heavy in omega-6 and low in omega-3. We get too much omega-6 in all sorts of packaged foods, vegetable oils, and grain-fed meat and dairy, and we often lack enough omega-3, which is an essential healthy fat. The more omega-3 we consume, the less omega-6 will be available to tissues to produce inflammation. Be sure to get enough omega-3 every day through supplements and food. Swap your vegetable oils for coconut, avocado, or grapeseed oil.
We talk a lot about stress here at BIOHM. And in the same way stress impacts gut health, stress increases inflammation in the body too. Chronic stress triggers the body’s inflammatory response and can alter immune cells to poise them to fight perceived threat. Cortisol, the main stress hormone, influences the regulation of inflammation. Try some of our favorite meditation techniques (https://biohmhealth.com/blogs/news/breathing-techniques-to-calm-your-belly-1), go for a walk, try some yoga, or invest in moments of stillness.
Did you know that exercise can even cause an increase of inflammation? Exercise is good, but pushing yourself too hard in the gym is lower thyroid function and increase cortisol. If you’re sacrificing sleep to squeeze that workout in, you’re putting your body through too much physical stress that is likely to cause too much inflammation.
Lastly, make sure to swap our toxic beauty and cleaning products for all-natural ones. Environmental toxins can harm our gut and lead to an uptake of inflammation in the body. Everything from the air and water to our own furniture can allow toxins into our bodies, so make sure to take steps toward clean living where you can.
How To Optimize Gut Health To Prevent Inflammation
Begin with a daily probiotic. Unless you eat a picture perfect diet, there’s a chance some unhealthy foods are causing your gut to favor unhealthy microbes that lead to inflammation. In addition to taking a probiotic, be sure to include fermented foods into your meals as well. Probiotics will help boost healthy bacteria in the gut and create a microbiome that is more diverse in beneficial bacteria. A happy gut will reduce overall inflammation in the body.
In order to help maintain a healthy gut and promote more and more beneficial bacteria, you need prebiotics to fertilize your “gut garden.” Prebiotics contain nondigestible plant fibers like inulin and oligofructose to help your bacteria grow. Begin adding in prebiotic foods like garlic, beans, bananas, artichokes, oats, jicama, avocado, leeks, onions, asaparagus, and dark leafy greens. In addition, try a prebiotic supplement too!
As mentioned earlier, be sure to get your daily intake of omega-3s. You may also want to incorporate some anti-inflammatory herbs and spices like turmeric, rosemary, and ginger.
Increase all f these good things, and get rid of the bad—sugar, junk food, soda, white rice, white bread, and other sugary carbs.
About the author:
Kate is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a concentration of stress reduction and the plantbased lifestyle. She is also a 200-RYT certified yoga teacher in Nashville, Tennessee. As a certified meditation teacher, Kate loves helping people reduce stress to improve their digestive health and overall happiness.
Instagram: @meditatekate / website is meditatekate.com